Liqueur & Cheese Pairings
We love cheese, for their savoury, stinky, creamy and mouldy appearances. You can stick cheese in a sandwich, grate it on Bolognese, use as a desert ingredient and present cheese in the most theatrical array with pickles, chutneys, fruits and cheese biscuits. Most of all you can pair it with wines, port and liqueurs. The later is not as well documented as the former, however we’re excited to say liqueurs and cheese are extraordinarily good when paired together.
What is a Cheese & Liqueur Pairing?
We are enhancing the flavour of both the liqueur and cheese by careful and individual pairing. It can be subjective but the way pairings react with flavour and texture elevates ‘eating’ to an experience that is shared around the dining table and celebrated amongst friends and family.
There are so many different cheeses to choose from and the good news is we can manage them into family groups. We suggest sticking to 6 groups (but there could be more dependant on who you speak to!).
6 Cheese groups:
- Fresh. Soft and rindless - Goats cheese, Feta, Mozzarella
- Bloomy. Named after the bloom of the white mould on the outside - Chaource, Brie, Camembert
- Washed rind. Bathed in beer, brine or wine products giving them their distinctive orange rind - Langres, Epoisses, Reblochon
- Semi-soft. Not spreadable and doesn’t crumble - Gruyère, Gouda, Edam
- Hard. Firm, breaks into crumbles - Manchego, Farmhouse Cheddar, Pecorino
- Blue. Veins of blue mould through the cheese - Stilton, Cambozola, Roquefort
For our Liqueur pairings we will stick to just five of these cheese groups - Blue, Semi-soft, Hard, Bloomy and Washed rind:
Cheese & Liqueur Pairing
Blue - Coffea Coffee Liqueur paired with French Fourme d'Ambert or German Montagnolo Affine
Semi-Soft - Coffea Decaf Coffee Liqueur paired with Swiss Schlossberger or French Comté
Hard - Camellia Decaf Black Tea Liqueur paired with English Pecorino or English Cornish Kern
Bloomy - Camellia Black Tea Liqueur paired with French Brie de Meaux or French Brie de Nagis
Washed rind - Ryokucha Green Tea Liqueur paired with French Munster or French Géromé
- Cheese/paddle board - The cheese board is a descendant of a ‘trencher’ which was medieval wooden tableware usually flat and round. Modern cheese boards come in various shapes and materials (slate, wood, marble), however avoid boards made of oak and soft woods such as pine as these have a higher rate of flavour absorption and can contaminate other food flavours.
- Cheese knife - There are a few types to choose from but from experience there are four main knifes. It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t want knifes to be contaminating other cheeses, so the more the better.
- Spreader knife best for fresh cheese
- Pronged knife best for soft to semi-hard cheese
- Cheese plane best for hard and semi-soft cheese
- Spade knife best for hard cheese
- Liqueur saucer - Usually a small glass bowl set on a short stem and approximately 50 to 80ml in volume.
Cheese boards can be plain or as theatrical and imaginative as you like. We like to dress ours with pickles, dried fruit, nuts and seasonal fruits such as apples, grapes, figs, melon and strawberries. There is also the option to include a good selection of charcuterie. The possibilities are endless and certainly add the wow factor when entertaining guests. The great thing about sharing platters is.... They’re for sharing!
Origin of Cheese boards - 1500’s
Charcuterie originated in France in the 15th century and charcuterie is derived from the French words for flesh (chair) and cooked (cuit). Our modern take on cheese boards is simply evolutionary and we wonder what the next 500 years will bring…..